New glimpses of Dart development plans

New information is rolling out that provides glimpses of development plans by the Dart Group in Camana Bay and out. 


Camana Bay 

Earlier this month, the surface parking lot on the southwest corner of Market Street and Forum Lane closed for public use, while Camana Bay’s weekly farmers’ market has been relocated to the northern end of Market Street. 

The parking lot closure and farmers’ market move make way for Dart to construct a new building on that site, called “Block 5”. In a news release, Dart directed Camana Bay visitors to park in a nearby garage or use other surface parking in the area. 

The farmers’ market, held Wednesdays from noon to 7pm, is moving to a new temporary location across from Anytime Fitness and Jessie’s Juice Bar. The farmers’ market will have a permanent home in “a new purpose-built facility in early summer”, according to the news release. 

Additionally, people can now use Camana Bay’s new recycling facility located to the west of Esterley Tibbetts Highway. The facility, which accepts glass and aluminium, “can be reached by turning left immediately before Camana Way when driving north on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway”. 



After Dart dropped out of continuing negotiations on a new amendment to a signed agreement that opens the Esterley Tibbetts extension to West Bay and closed a part of West Bay Road to make way for a new Dart hotel, government released a PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis of the proposals. In the analysis appears a tentative list of projects that Dart is considering for Grand Cayman, outside of Camana Bay. 

Those projects include a 265-room hotel on the former site of the Courtyard Marriott hotel (US$400 average daily rate). Other potential hotel developments that Dart is considering include three other hotels on West Bay Road, ranging from 150 to 300 rooms apiece and average daily rates of US$200 to US$300, as well as an eco-tourism hotel with 100 rooms (US$350 average daily rate) to be located either on Barkers or the Esterley Tibbetts Highway next to North Sound. 

“These plans imply that the number of hotel rooms in the Cayman Islands would increase by 53 per cent compared with 2011,” according to the report. 

Subject to a number of independent factors, construction on the hotels would begin from 2015 to 2020 and be finished between 2016 and 2022, potentially. 

Dart’s plans also call for the construction of 425 condo units near the proposed hotels over the period up to 2026, as well as the construction of 1,009 homes (ranging in price from US$900,000 to US$1 million) along the Esterley Tibbetts extension through 2039. 

Also, Dart is planning for two commercial centres with a total development cost of US$47 million, to be built by 2020, according to the report. 


  1. This is good news in my opinion. Dart brings quality to the island and will build first rate accommodations no doubt. Hopefully the soon come new government will proactively support these projects and foster not hinder the progress.

  2. Its quite obvious what Dart intends…and intended…to do all along.

    Its just that no right-thinking Caymanian would have thought that the CI Government (read that as McKeeva Bush and his UDP party) would have been so complicit and co-operative…no one expects their locally-elected government to sell out their country wholesale to any private investor.

    Dart’s plan has been to isolate the western end of Grand Cayman from the rest of the island…and create his own ‘country-within-a-country’…a privately owned ‘enclave’ if you wish, of the most preferred real estate…and beachfront property on the island.

    With unlimited financial resources and control over a major political party, at least while Bush was in power, this is the heaven that many, many investors of Dart’s standing would have loved to and tried to create for themselves in other attractive locations in the world except…

    For the fact that they did not and have not found the local populace so co-operative with their plans.

    Cayman has proved a real paradise for one of the world’s richest men.

    I am neither pro nor anti-Dart but what I do know is this…

    Monopolies lead to dictatorships; that is an inevitable fact of life.

    If at anytime, the average Caymanian cannot freely visit the 7 Mile Beach…or travel freely to any part of Grand Cayman that they wish to without restriction or permission…

    Then Cayman will know for sure whether allowing Dart to own Cayman has been a good or bad thing…

    And by then, it will be too late to do anything about it anyway.

  3. It really concerns me that Dart would be investing in the Cayman Islands. Especially during a downturn in the world economy and at a time when because our own politicians spent beyond the governments means left the country without money and on the brink of direct taxation.
    A question to the naysayers,All those people who sold out their businesses to Dart, where is their reinvestment in the Cayman Islands?

  4. Really smart move by DART, building more over-priced hotels at a time when even existing, well-established and sensibly priced properties are struggling to maintain viable occupancy rates.

    The term white elephant comes to mind. These (and the hotels that go bust once the development is up and running) seen destined to become a few more empty monuments to the DART takeover of the island.

  5. Although Dart is investing quite bit into Cayman right now, he is not the only one. There are a lot of smart investors doing things around the island, there are several new developments currently going up and quite a few smaller ones, including my own. The economy is down but it is on an upswing. These are the most economical times to buy and build.. Dart just happens to have a lot more to invest then everyone else, good for them..

  6. It never ceases to amaze me how some individuals on this island interpolate such vile and wrong thinking when it comes to the announcement of investment and in particular investment by the Dart companies.

    While the rest of the Caribbean languish Dart has executed bold initiative and shown real courage in the face of adversity and high risk.

    Most likely the catalyst for a renewed economy and undeniable faith in the future of Grand Cayman.

    Try to get on board for this train to a positive future!

  7. Why such expenisve hotels. Everyone knows the reason rich people are rich is because they never spend any money. So who is going to stay at these hotels, at 400 a night. and Even if they come, they’ll just stay at the hotel and never spend any real money in town or at restaurants. So how is this good for our economy.

    Cayman has real troubles. expats come and live 5 or 6 to an apartment, and then send most of their money home to their families. The government is over employed, but if we cut jobs there will be more unemployment. Dart here is building and providing great oportunities, i just hope he also has some kind of forum for caymanians to come and get trained in jobs at these hotels and get paid a proper salary. How about assissting them with schooling now so when it opens they will be qualified. This is what i’d like to see these politicians tell me. Instead of fight dart about what he doing to land or building. Get these politician to show a real interest in getting young and older caymanians ready for the opening of these hotels/offices and a better future.

  8. Many people think that Dart came up with the idea of Camana Bay. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    In 1996, the Smart Growth Network came out into the open. In 2011 Jackie Doak was the keynote speaker at the Congress for New Urbanism. Even Camana Bay alludes to this on their website.
    If you want to see where Cayman is headed, just read up on the above topics. It all sounds great on paper, but the end result is that people will effectively be forced to live in these New Urbanist Developments where they are easier to monitor and control. It’s bizarre really, like some kind of science fiction movie. The real force behing the CNU is the United Nations and their globalist policies alluded to in Agenda 21. If you don’t research, you’ll just accept everything you are told like a good puppy dog. Our new batch of politicians will be very globalist and you’ll see these initiatives take off like a rocket. 100,000 people in Cayman will be a low estimate.

  9. In the world of investing you buy low and sell high, simple. If you wait to for the economy to peak before getting in you are exposed to more risk.

    To firery, are you drunk off haterade? You sound just like Mac and his often alleged conspiracies. A dictator seizes power by violence and fear. A dictator owns nothing but controls all. Dart is none of those things and frankly I am insulted by your insinuations.

    Dart has paid for all he owns in these islands and has paid handsomely for it at that. He has taken nothing but has given back much which is more that I can say for everyone else.

    In small economies like Cayman, consolidation, what you call monopoly, is inevitable as the company with the most resources/better business savvy usually buys out/into smaller, weaker companies and not by force but by paying fair market value. Everything he buys into, he then invests more money to make better and stronger, which benefits him and his employees by providing stable income for both. Cayman on a whole is then more stable.

    Ask anyone that Dart has bought out if they have not received fair compensation and willingly accepted Darts offer with their own free will. I agree he does have a way of making offers to good to refuse but that is not illegal the last time I checked.

    Every industry that Dart in involved locally be it retail, real estate, power generation, liquor distribution, has the appearance of being monopolized for the simple reason that YOUR Government creates such huge barriers to entry in the form of huge fees, red tape, limiting the amount licencees and pure bureaucratic BS. Eliminate those things and you will reduce the appearance of monopolies.

    I am young Caymanian father of two children working my way up the corporate ladder who has lost faith in our government and honestly feel as though no Government will be able to out aside petty their petty differences to truly work for the good people of these beloved Isles.

  10. To firery, are you drunk off haterade? You sound just like Mac and his often alleged conspiracies. A dictator seizes power by violence and fear. A dictator owns nothing but controls all. Dart is none of those things and frankly I am insulted by your insinuations.


    And you say that you’re climbing the corporate ladder ?

    Well mate, you better get your comprehension skills a little sharper then, or your climb will be long and painful…and quite possibly aborted before you reach the top.

    You’ve obviously ignored the complete message in my comments and chose to focus on the bits that threaten your views…and those views, as expressed in my chosen quotes from your comments…

    Signify a very limited and inexperienced view of the world in which we currently live.

    I’ll let the more mature readers benefit from my comments…

    While you’re still trying to figure them out.

  11. Nothing is as blind as he who cannot see……. Dart will control, he will be in total charge, and he will own the whole Island ….he will throw the odd temper tantrum to get his way, pull out of talks ’til he has sulked enough, but get it he will. The right Premier was in situ when he began his takeover……This beautiful island will never have the charm anymore.

  12. Firery,

    First, I am not your mate and I have not ignored your views but read and comprehended them quite clearly.

    Do you have any facts to back up your allegations towards Dart’s intentions or do you feel that because you have lived here and elsewhere and have a degree you are able to predict the future? Do you even live here anymore or have you abandoned Cayman to hurl stones at it from afar while contributing only your witty and so called learned dialogue?

    Since you are so able to predict the future and discern Darts true intent please share your crystal ball with us, please explain using fact not fiction and how you have unequivocally figured out Dart true intent.

    I suspect you will try to use the fact that other countries have defaulted on their bond debts to Dart but we both know that does not apply here. All Cayman owes to Dart is a debt of gratitude, which seems to be in short supply around here.

    So please oh enlightened one, armchair prophet of doom and gloom, share your facts with us undeserved ones.

  13. Ya lets run Dart off the island with burning torches and pitchforks! This new election will fix everything and the newly elected members will build infrastructure, hotels and repair out broken economy! Is there a sarcasm font?

  14. @NJ2Cay. You say – The economy is down but it is on an upswing.

    Whatever you are smoking right now must be pretty good because that is definitely not the picture the real world is painting.

    I would not deny that the Cayman Islands needs stayover tourism but it has to compete with neighbours like Cuba if it wants a share of the huge UK/European tourism market.

    A DART hotel room for US400 a night? Two people can fly from the UK to Cuba right now and stay for a week all-inclusive (flights, transfers plus all meals and booze) in the 4 Star Blau Varadero for US2100 – that works out at US300 a night for everything.

    In 3-4 years time the USA will get access to Cuba, the cruise ships will start going there and the Cayman Islands will get left with whatever is left over and that will not be much.

    I have seen what happens when resorts get left behind and that is what is I see happening to the Cayman Islands now. Unlike some of the people posting here I can remember what things were like in the Cayman Islands 20 years ago, full dive boats fighting for places on the dive sites and hotels/resorts enjoying high occupancy rates all year round. You have dropped the proverbial ball since then and letting one organisation build a load of fancy new hotels is not the solution.

    It reminds a bit of an Egyptian businessmen who built a really nice hotel in the Sinai desert and assumed that people would go there because it was there.

  15. UncleDave, I may not be a 1000 years old but I have been around long enough to know that times get hard but then they get better. The Real Estate market goes down and up, Up and Down. The economy is the same way. Those who usually make out the best are people who invested when times were hard and the real estate mark is down. A house that cost 400K to buy or build 5-6 years ago could be built or purchased now for 200K or less. Yes times are hard and the world is in a global recession but there are a lot of people buying up properties all over the US because prices and interest rates are at an all-time low. People even claim that they can’t get mortgages this is even wrong it’s just harder because the qualifications have changed. All the people that found ways to invest now will in ten years be the ones that will have all the marbles when things start to turn around and that same house is now valued at 300K or even more. Look around the island you see high end Condos going up Commercial properties even private homes. This is because there are a lot of smart people that know things will get better. There are a lot of families that got super rich during and due to the US recession and the same thing is going on now for the rich they are investing, people may called them stupid and say they don’t know what they are doing, but it they were so stupid, why are they the rich ones.

    A single development such as the Shetty Hospital will make a huge difference to the local economy. The Port will eventually get built as will the Airport get extended. The economy will go up as well as the cost of living and things will start to lavish again but mostly for those who were smart enough to invest when things were down….

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